tv European Journal PBS September 15, 2014 6:30pm-7:01pm PDT
>> it's still vacation time here, but europe never sleeps. as always, we've uncovered some exciting stories for you. welcome to the "european journal p or co. this week, we look at ireland's dark past with home children. spain's human towers for independence. and crimea's soccer talents become a political football. our first report tells the story of how thousands of children were taken away from their mothers and raised in an environment devoid of love and support. if the children survived at all. the women in charge of these
religious homes were catholic sisters from the 1920's until well into the 1980's. they struck terror into the hearts of the children and their charge. only now is the full scale of the horrors that took place there coming to light. >> these women have returned to a suburb on ireland's southern coast. to this catholic home for unwed mothers and their children. as young children, the women were humiliated and locked away here. mary was given up for adoption by the sacred heart nuns over 40 years ago. she grew up in the u.s., but many other children died and are allegedly buried somewhere in the grounds. >> i think about how that could have been my fate. had it just been a few years sooner, i might not have been
born in a hospital, and an stillborn at a vesper oh and died, did not survive birth and could be buried there. it's always sad to me when i walk through there. i just feel the presence, you know, of the babies and the mothers. as beautiful of the place -- as beautiful as the place is, the sadness is just overwhelming. >> it was the largest of 10 mother and baby homes in ireland. mary spent the first two years of her life here before she was adopted. when she finally tracked down her biological mother, she told her about the terrible conditions in the home. she showed her documents that prove certain drugs were tested on her when she was only seven months old. >> my mother certainly verified that she was never told, never asked for permission, have no clue. she said she knew that they believed that they were giving you your jabs, that you had to
get immunizations, she said when and how they did that, she would have had no knowledge. they were not asked or offered an opinion on anything to do with us. >> hundreds of babies and young children could be buried here. the search was sparked by an amateur historian who today is accompanied by an eyewitness. frannie hopkins says he found children's bones in this garden over the former mother and baby home back in the 1970's. to begin with, the local people thought they were probably the skeletons of famine victims, but after sifting through all documents, catherine corliss came to a different conclusion -- that the nuns who ran the homes area up to 800 babies here. >> the babies who died in the home between 1925 and 1961 buried all around this area, with no headstone, nobody to remember them. >> the irish government has launched a cross departmental
review, and the catholic church has promised its support, but many out its sincerity. a victims support group has hired archaeologist tony maguire. she found depressions in the ground that point to hidden graves. >> we're starting to see a passion of a much higher death rate than the national averages. that could be all sorts of things. it could be infection, maybe a lack of care, all sorts of answers why that could be the case, but what you have got to do is go in and i know why that was happening. >> mary hopes other former residents will help her find out exactly what happened in the homes during a dark chapter of irish history. the current head of the sacred
heart order has agreed to help clarify the matter. some locals welcome that, but others are tired of hearing about scandals in the catholic church. >> we are just great at kicking the dead, giving them a second death, when hundreds of nuns -- hundreds of priests did brilliant work in this country, and not just in this country, but another countries. >> there's skeletons in every country. in germany as well. does it help digging them up and looking at it? >> cary harrison would probably say yes, it does help. she was 18 when her son was given up for adoption by the nuns. she has searched for him for 41 years in vain. now she wants those responsible to be made to stand up in court and give evidence.
>> don't let me die without looking into his eyes and know he is ok. that's all i ever wanted to know. that he's alive, that he was loved, and that he's ok. >> terry wrote the song "remember me" for her son. >> i used to hum this to him when he was a baby before they took him, and i'm hoping that when he hears this piece of music, it might trigger a memory , you know what i'm saying? a sense of me. >> at the moment, only numbers and old church records indicate how many children could be buried here. few have names. >> it's hard to describe this fear because it is so real, having felt i have landed in
hell. there's one thing we all knew -- it's a place that when you go there, you never come back. girls were sent there and never came back. >> the more the mothers and their children research, the more cruelty and horror comes to light, but they say they will not give up until they know what happened to the children born here. >> along with crimea, russia has also annexed the peninsula's local soccer teams. that's causing chaos because the ukrainian league has not released the clubs, while the russians are refusing to allow them to play there. according to fee for regulations, both sides have to agree to a league change. russia is therefore openly violating the for rules, although the powerful sporting regulation -- federation is not doing anything about it.
it's crimea's soccer talents who are paying the price. >> many of these young footballers hope to become professionals one day. until recently, their club played in ukraine's premier the, but now, the boys' dreams have been dashed, at least for now. now, following the russian annexation of crimea in march, the club should technically also belong to russia. the boys are confused. >> we don't have a professional team anymore. now they are trying to set up a new one. of course we are worried, and now our sports scores also under threat. >> this is my life. football means everything to me. i've devoted almost all my life to it. >> none of them ever imagined they could ever become political ponds -- ponds -- pawns, but the
club psychologist says the current crisis is a popular topic in the dressing room. >> of course we are all concerned, but especially the young players. they are not mature enough to have fixed views about politics or citizenship. what is important is that they do not lose their love of sport, that they remain physically fit and do not forget everything they've learned. >> now they can only attend training sessions. the authorities have for bid in them from playing in the ukrainian league, and the ukrainian football association refuses to let them transfer to the russian league. a vexing situation for the club founder. he says the club's professional players have already left and now play for other ukrainian teams. while these young players are left out in the cold.
>> all these boys on the field have been registered in the ukrainian football association since they were 10, and now, it is not letting them play for russia. i cannot understand that. what about fifa and uafa? aren't they supposed to defend the interests of football players? >> the team wants to kick off the new scene in sevastopol's biggest stadium, even without the go-ahead from national football associations. if permission were granted, it could be seen by moscow as a sign of approval for russia's annexation of the crimean peninsula. the russian football authorities readily issued the club with a new license and also provided 15 new russian players.
but there is not enough money. the club's former sponsor withdrew his support because he disagreed with russia's annexation. and the banking system has collapsed. >> i've been in moscow several times, and i've met many football organizations and politicians. the decision was taken to support the club because now even i cannot take a loan out as a businessman, let alone a club. the banks are not working. >> but the young players do not want to wait until normality returns. they want to play, and they want politics to be kept out of football. they have called on the ukrainian football association to set them free so that sevastopol can play again, even if it means under the russian flag. >> i want to believe that our boys will be able to play again. football is for people, for the fans, for the people of the
city. i believe they will come to us and said that football is a national sport. i believe our club will blossom and attract even more boys. >> for years, it did not matter in crimea who was russian and who was ukrainian. that's why many of the boys would not mind playing for a russian team. >> we are training again, and we are hoping that everything will be great again. if we get into the russian league, it will all be fine. >> the level is higher in the russian league, and sows the training. i've heard it is better than in ukraine. >> they say they can prove themselves in the russian league if only they are allowed to play .
there are some 500 talented men in the club. they cannot all be sent home. >> from germany to poland to france, you barely have to break for a border in europe nowadays, and that makes life a lot easier for travelers, of course, but also for criminals. if a feast steals a car, let say in berlin, he can just drive it to another country. that's because even within the european union, the powers of national police usually stop at the borders. communicating with police from a neighboring country is still laborious, which gives the bad guys plenty of time to get away. that is supposed to change soon, though. in fact, part of the border between germany and poland is already patrolled by a national teams. >> it's the start of the work they. born in poland, he has been a police officer in this town
since he started his career. mostly he works on bike patrol. he often patrolled on his bike but on the other side of the river. two police officers, two countries, two worlds. but not for these two. they are part of a team of 30 police officers who work together here at the german polish border. they patrol on foot, on their bikes, and in their squad cars. they have been frequently working together for two years now. they go on patrol together about four times a month. on their bikes, they can act quickly wherever help is needed. >> i tell my department, so if someone commits a theft in germany and then heads for the bridge to cross into poland, they can call me and tell us to
go over there and intercept him. >> we work really well together on bike patrol. kristof speaks very good polish, and i can speak relatively good german. so we can communicate, and we understand each other. >> german and polish police have been patrolling together since 2007. without the cross-border agreement, the police would each have to stay on their own side of the bridge while criminals got away. >> criminals do not care about borders, and they do not stop at them, so our police work needs to extend across the border as well. that's why it is so important that we have joint patrols and echange information especially in border regions. >> crime in the region has increased steadily ever since border patrols largely ceased in
2007. last year, the eastern german state of brandenburg saw a 10% increase. car thieves often take advantage of the open border to head east in the stolen vehicles. german and polish customs officers and police work side-by-side at the joint command center. if a suspect crosses the border, the polish colleagues are informed, and they continue the pursuit. this past year, the pilot project recovered more than 50 stolen vehicles valued at more than one million euros. that is still a small percentage, but the project is attracting attention here at home and abroad. >> we get a lot of surprised reactions, but a lot of delegations also come back and tell us they have thought it over. they say if german and polish police can work together, despite the difficult history between the two countries, they
should be able to collaborate with their colleagues across the border just as successfully and easily as we have managed to. >> they have become friends off-duty as a. after work, they sometimes head over to each other's place in poland or germany. sometimes they meet with their families, sometimes on their own. >> we go on bike rides just to relax or to the lake for a swim. there are nice spots nearby, but then it's back to the real world. >> that keeps them busy. they were together at major german-polish events and on regular patrol. they have a clear division of labor. when they are in poland, one is in charge and the other assists, and they switch roles when they are on the german side.
at that will soon change. a new agreement has expanded collaboration between the two police forces. once it is implement it, polish and german police officers will have the same authority while on duty on both sides of the border. >> the borders within europe might be all but gone these days, but in some places, people are trying to add new ones. not only in scotland, but also in catalonia. the regional government is asking citizens if they want to remain part of spain, but the spanish government has refused to allow a vote. that might be one reason why everything that is typically catalonia as opposed to spanish has suddenly become a political statement, including cultural symbols like the castell's. >> a proud cat along in his
element, he strolls with his troop into the town square. the 36 rolled his gathering of his courage. the group wants to build a human tower. the team members take a last look at the construction plans. then they strap on the waistbands they give the tower structural strength. the association was founded two years ago. >> it's wonderful we all have a common goal. we since each other's bodies and motions and euphoria. >> reinforcing the feeling of togetherness, the crowd pulls together to form a human platform. the acrobats carefully climb up on each other. the ones below work to stabilize the structure.
this castell, as the tower is called and cut, gross to be more than eight meters. the smallest in the troop climbs all the way to the top, seemingly without fear. >> it's really impressive. i'm not afraid. i like it here. i like being up there. >> fair and old cattle on tradition, and they are increasingly becoming the symbol of catalonia's drive for independence. their motto is -- together we can achieve the impossible. the small town in the pyrenees mountains is a bastion of the independence movement, as the many lags indicate.
he has always considered himself like had a lawn, not a spaniard. he works for the regional government, and most of his colleagues share his views. they say spain and catalonia live as if chained to each other, a legacy of the franco dictatorship. they want independence, especially when it comes to finances. >> if we were independent, we could decide for ourselves what to do with our tax revenue, and that would enable us to overcome the crisis in a few years. >> the community supports the referendum on independence that catalonia's government is planning for november 9. madrid has declared the referendum illegal.
a clock on the city hall counts down the days and hours to the referendum. the mayor receives us in the city council hall. tw's ago, the spanish king was declared persona non grata here -- two years ago. local politicians deny that it can cause problems. >> catalonia pays a lot to the central government and receives little in return. this imbalance is a break on our economy and prevents growth. it's bad not only for us but also for spain and europe. >> demonstrations take place here almost every weekend. thousands of people form the v for victory sign. three so-called tribes gather to represent the three regions of catalonia -- the areas around barcelona, valencia, and the islands. people are adamant that they are cattle in core country -- cattle
in -- catalan core country. everyone here is in favor of the referendum in november. many point to scotland and say that if the scots can do it, so can they. >> we are sick and tired of being treated badly by the spanish authorities. we want to be a normal country. >> my country has always been catalonia. spain and us. that's the only reason we are together. >> many people here dream intensely of independence, and it's not so easy to find dissenting voices. office here, but there's no nameplate.
inside, we meet the only counselor who openly opposes independence. he has been physically attacked on the street twice for his views. he says tensions run particularly high in small-town's. the pressure on those with a different opinion is growing. >> if there are a lot of stickers for independence on the street and i don't have one, then the others assume i am opposed. that's why many people put up flags and stickers just to avoid problems. this is the atmosphere we live with here every day. >> small children practice acrobatics dance, a playful way of learning content on -- catalan culture. such groups are increasingly popular. the number of tower builders has
doubled in recent years. >> the towers are from here. they are a world cultural heritage, and they embody our identity. >> practice makes perfect -- that goes for tower building as well as politics. and so the towers of catalonia are becoming the implement the highflying dreams of an entire region. the community spirit gives people a sense of belonging. they are convinced they can achieve the impossible, including independence. >> independence does not have to be a good thing, so do not grow to independent from us at the "european journal." we would love to see you again next week. if you cannot wait, you can always find us online. thanks for watching, and until
luzern has been a regular stop on the grand tour route of europe. [ whistle blows ] its inviting lakefront now includes a modern concert hall, which incorporates the lake into its design. the old town, with a pair of picture-perfect wooden bridges, straddles the reuss river, where it tumbles out of lake luzern. the bridge was built at an angle in the 14th century to connect the town's medieval fortifications. today, it serves strollers, rather than soldiers, as a peaceful way to connect two sides of town. many are oblivious to the fascinating art just overhead. under the rafters hang about 100 colorful 17th-century paintings showing scenes from luzern and its history. this legendary giant dates to the middle ages, when locals discovered mammoth bones, which they mistakenly thought were the bones of a human giant.
here's luzern in about 1400, the bridge already part of the city fortifications. and luzern looked like this in 1630. luzern is responsible for controlling the lake level. by regulating the flow of water out of its lake, the city prevents the flooding of lakeside villages when the snow melts. in the mid-19th century, the city devised and built this extendable dam. by adding and taking away these wooden slats, they could control the level of the lake. swans are a fixture on the river today. locals say they arrived in the 17th century as a gift from the french king, louis xiv, in appreciation for the protection his swiss guards gave him. switzerland has a long history of providing strong and loyal warriors to foreign powers. the city's famous lion monument recalls the heroism of more swiss mercenaries. the mighty lion rests his paws on a french shield.
tears stream down his cheeks. the broken-off end of a spear is slowly killing the noble beast. the sad lion is a memorial to over 700 swiss mercenaries who were killed, defending marie antoinette and louis xvi during the french revolution. the people of luzern take full advantage of their delightful river with a variety of cafes and restaurants along its banks. this evening, we're enjoying the setting as much as the food. i'm having the local pork. my producer, simon, is having eel, fresh from the river. with a picturesque setting like this, the dining experience makes for a wonderful memory.